The current clothing industry is one of the worst for the environment. Many things go into this determination, but the main problems lie in the fact that this industry has a global reach and requires inputs from millions of people worldwide. It also has to do with the materials we use and how we transport goods, which are some of the most prominent issues for pollution. It is quite challenging to do well in the clothing industry without focusing on fast fashion. It is one reason why Riley Uggla and her London-based company, Riley Studio, would like our society to move to a sustainable model for clothing production.
The new model would be one where we spend a lot of our time and effort focusing on things that matter. The clothing would be environmentally friendly, relay on ethical labor, and reduce the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills.
Current Method of Making Clothes
The current method of manufacturing clothing requires us to grow cotton and other fabrics in India then ship them to other countries in South Asia. The clothing is then manufactured according to a design, which is then shipped back to Western countries. We also manufacture a lot of clothing from synthetic fibers, which are usually made from processing oil. It is one of the many reasons why the clothing industry is less environmentally and socially friendly than most people think.
They don’t realize how much oil is required to create a lot of the fabrics we use today. The clothes are then sold in stores where they are worn for a few months then thrown away. It creates a lot of waste for the environment, and it is a really large problem for a variety of reasons. There is always a considerable appetite for clothing, as people grow out of current clothes or want a change of the style they wear. It is one of the many reasons this industry will continue to grow and significantly impact our environment.
Making It More Environmentally Friendly
There are a few thinks we must consider to make clothing more environmentally friendly. The main reasons why it is currently not friendly are its transportation footprint and the materials used. If we are to change the way we look at clothing, we will have to use better materials and transportation methods. If these two things can come together, they will lead to much better results in this industry.
Using Different Materials
One of the biggest things we need to start doing in the clothing industry is to use different materials. Most materials today are pretty eco-friendly, but they could use a change. We could start by eliminating materials that are made from oil, such nylon and polyester, and move to renewable and recyclable materials like cotton and Tencel. It would help change things around and would also help with the quality of the clothing. We could also focus on using clothing that was made locally. Pollution from ships is one of the main reasons why clothing is such a big deal for the environment.
The ships that take clothing from one location to the next are some of the world’s biggest polluters. If we could get rid of them, we would be in a much better place with the environment. It would also be a lot better for people in the local era, as there would be many more jobs available for them to do. It will lead to economic booms, which would have a cascading effect on everyone else.
Changing the Way We Look at Clothing
We will also have to change the way we look at clothing to be more economically friendly. The big problem with clothing is that it is seasonal. People change their clothes every few months, even though there is nothing wrong with them. We have to change this model to one where we wear clothes until they rip or get worse. Even then, clothing ideally would be recycled into new materials, thus closing the production line and reducing the amount of resources needed.
Riley Uggla is trying to lead a revolution to more eco-friendly clothing. She’s using her company, Riley Studio, and innovative designs to do just that. With people becoming more aware of the negative effects of climate change and social inequality, eco-friendly clothing is here to stay and is rapidly expanding its reach.